Thursday, July 30, 2020
NEP2020 is LIP service – Language Imposition Policy.
சொன்னால் விரோதம் ஆயினும் சொல்கிறேன்!
What is the aim of education?
The answer to this is same as “what is the aim of life?” says Peters, a professor of philosophy of education at the University of London. So what is the aim of life? The answer can be spiritual, philosophical or materialistic. In olden days, people were clear about what they wanted in life and based on that gone after the kind of education that was suitable for them. They learned the three Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic) and those after material pursuits learned the hereditary skill in addition.
Where are we today? Today also we need these, the three Rs and skill to support our material progress. So any educational policy of the government must be based on these. Does the newly rolled out National Educational Policy 2020 fulfill this?
The first shocker is the promotion of “Multi-lingualism” at formative years aimed at cutting off ‘Phoren” English but forcing down “Phoren Hindi, phoren Marathi, phoren Bengali ……and so on” for the child of a different mother tongue.
So, the two of the three Rs are going to be drawn from three different languages, none of them going to be of help to material progress of the child later. Where just one language can do, the government is thrusting three languages for the fault of having born in multi-lingual India. That one language happens to be English is what troubles the Government. But that language makes my ward expand his frontiers of knowledge is no concern to the Government. That one language enables my ward to present his findings in journals read by reputed scientists around the world is of no concern to the government. What the government wants is to make India “Ek Bharat Sreshtha Bharat” says this link https://taxguru.in/corporate-law/national-education-policy-2020-nep-2020.html
For a concept like this – of promoting Classical languages, regional languages, why sacrifice my ward’s time, youth, aspirations and capabilities? Regional language development is the responsibility of the State governments. Ek Bharat Sreshtha Bharat comes by cultural unity and not by forcing three languages through my ward’s tongue – none of which are going to fill his stomach. It is a lone battle for each child when it comes to choosing the subjects of choice and University of choice in the midst of oppressing reservation policy which no government is going to do away with.
It is even funny reading the claims of NEP on multiple entry and exit with certification. What is the cost of it in the job market? Will Tata or Infosys recruit my ward with such certificates? Such entry and exit may have limited use for very less number of people. For the majority, proper streams of subjects learned through the medium that is most valuable in today’s world is the need of the hour. Why many people with professional degree are not able to land up in good jobs but are turned away with the advice to undertake a course in English? This is common sight in Tamilnadu, mainly because it chose a bad education policy tinged with regional language chauvinism. The same is now being promoted by the BJP government at the national level through NEP2020.
The next deception is the claim that the present 10+2 stands scrapped. NEP 2020 proposes 5+3+3+4 curricular structure starting from the age of 3, with 3 years of pre-schooling (one additional year before LKG and UKG) and 12 years of schooling. In what way it is different from 10+2? With the burden of exams at 3rd, 5th and 8th Grade (Standard in the current system) and Board exams at 10th and 12th Grade, it is nothing but the old wine in a new cup. Nothing changes for the kids and their parents. Only additional burden in the form of ‘phoren’ languages of India and a bleak future once the student steps out of school.
The next issue that pops up is whether this policy is applicable to CBSE or all boards. Since education is in concurrent list, I wonder how this can be forced on all States. The claim of “universalization of education” gives a deja vu of ‘uniform syllabus’ introduced by Karunanidhi that killed education in State Board schools of Tamilnadu. It saw a migration to CBSE stream. Now with NEP2020, there is going to be a flight from CBSE to ICSE and international schools. We are going to see a vertical division of the society between haves and have-nots with haves (who can afford the hefty cost of those schools) rising up in the ladder with better access given by English knowledge.
All those who are against English as medium of instruction are language chauvinists, Hindi belt BJP-ians who struggle to connect with non-Hindi speaking people, think-tanks of foreign origin or think-tanks who made English speaking countries their homes, and who are still awed at Japan, Germany, Russia, China etc for their strides with local languages without blinking an eye on the local conditions. China may curb English, but Chinese want to learn English. I hear from sources how they feel disadvantaged at not being able to promote their researches at the world level. India should not behave like China in language policy. I find either political motives or political leanings among the supporters of NEP2020, but can see none among them a struggling parent for whom education means an investment for future. Definitely the language policy at school and High school is going to stunt their growth and slash their dreams of making it big in life.
I am just fed up with their arguments which are same as the ones I have been hearing right from the 90s. At that time the issue was around English as ‘link language’. The present problem is also because of the same reason - the BJP government not willing to accept English as the link language.
In the place of learning just one link language which can be used within India and outside as well, this Government is forcing three languages from the pool of Indian languages for the tiny tots until 8th standard. After the 8th grade there is no way the student can learn the subjects through English. So successfully the BJP government is closing the opportunities for all the students to learn what is happening outside India. I can easily foresee how future-Indians are going to be like – having seen how the Tamil-only- learners have turned out to be now. And BJP wants only such people – the “Nationalists” whose identity lies only in their national tongue which is ultimately going to be Hindi!
Related post: Leave the language to us, Amit Shah ji